News and notes from around the area
Schlarman AD resigning
DANVILLE — Jason Woodworth, who has worked at his alma mater for 131/2 years, is stepping aside at the end of the school year as both athletic director and baseball coach at Schlarman.
In 13 seasons as baseball coach, Woodworth has guided the Hilltoppers to nine conference championships, eight regional titles, two sectional crowns and one super-sectional victory.
“The thing I will miss most are the great relationships and friends that I have made with people at Schlarman, area coaches and area officials,” he said. “Being able to make a difference and be a part of so many students’ and athletes’ lives, especially at my alma mater, will be something that I will never forget.”
Woodworth, who also had stints as golf and cross-country coaches at Schlarman, said his future plans are “up in the air,” but added, “I definitely want to stay involved with area athletics and coaching. I have a few options available and will be looking forward to some new challenges.”
Woodworth was 297-133-1 with Schlarman’s baseball program, including 11 20-win seasons.
“Schlarman has been a huge part of my life, and I look forward to it continuing to be in the future,” Woodworth said.
Tracksters seek state berths
Sectional track meets for girls — which determines the athletes that will compete at state — will be held this week.
In Class 3A, Danville travels to Homewood-Flossmoor for a Thursday sectional.
In Class 2A, Centennial, Central, Mahomet-Seymour, Monticello, Rantoul and Urbana are among 15 team entries at Bloomington Central Catholic, also Thursday. Prairie Central was assigned to Thursday’s Princeton 2A sectional.
In Class 1A, Salt Fork will host a 17-school sectional Friday (field events at 4 p.m.). Two other 1A sites that have at least six area schools will hold their sectionals Thursday: Tri-Valley and Central A&M.
Athletes who place first or second in any individual event or relay qualify for state as do others who meet pre-determined times and distances.
Charger makes college choice
CHAMPAIGN — Centennial senior Mike McCray Jr. will sign a letter of intent today to continue his basketball career at Illinois Valley Community College. He also considered Coffeyville (Kan.), Lewis & Clark and Rend Lake.
McCray plans to major in denistry while minoring in biology.
As a senior, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 4.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He was fourth on the 22-9 Chargers in assists. McCray scored a season-high 13 points against Urbana and had an 11-point game against the Tigers in the regional finals.
A second-generation Centennial athlete, his father Mike McCray Sr. played basketball at Centennial and graduated in 1992.
A-P reaches softball mark
ARMSTRONG — Monday’s 7-4 softball win for Armstrong-Potomac was the school’s 10th of the season, matching the most since the 1996 A-P team also posted 10 wins.
A-P’s Brian Russell is the coach of this year’s team and his wife, the former Becky Morgan, who a senior who played on the 1996 team.
“It is crazy how life works,” Russell said. “I keep telling the girls on the team that we still have unfinished business. It would be great to win at least one more.”
Vikings seek to defend title
DANVILLE — Defending Big 12 Conference track and field champ Danville will serve as the host for this year’s boys’ league meet Thursday, with field events starting at 4:30 p.m. at the recently christened Wayland-Young Athletic Complex.
The Vikings edged MacArthur, 95-92, last year for team supremacy.
The meet’s lone returning individual champion from the area is Centennial senior Luke Vaughn, who broke the Big 12 record last week with with a toss of 172-11 in the discus. Vaughn recently returned to action following a layoff with a hand injury.
The league held its freshmen-sophomore conference meet last year. Bloomington was the team champion, followed by Normal West, Centennial and Danville.
Area individual champions were Danville’s Caleb Hummer (1,600) and Derrian Rose (shot put) along with the Vikings’ 800 relay.
Ex-Spartan earns CCIW honor
BLOOMINGTON — Illinois Wesleyan sophomore Audra James, from St. Joseph-Ogden, was a first-team all-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin softball repeater. James’ .395 batting average ranked eighth in CCIW games. She led the league with 15 runs scored and was second with eight stolen bases.
Overall, James is batting .417 and was successful on 20 of 22 stolen base attempts.
The 31-9 Titans were ranked 17th nationally in last week’s Division III poll. IWU plays in a Division III regional, which starts Thursday at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Another ex-Spartan playing for IWU, Hannah Bowen, is batting .316.
Ex-Charger receives accolades
PITTSBURGH — Senior Don McDuffee, a right fielder from Centennial, received first-team all-conference honors from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. McDuffee has started every game for Point Park University’s 39-14 squad. He has a .387 batting average to go along with one home run, 38 RBI and a team-high five triples.
McDuffee also earned first-team academic all-district honors. The business management and marketing major compiled a 3.79 grade-point average.